Newfoundland’s beer boom seems to be well fueled

By / Wine + Drinks / January 4th, 2020 / 15
Alicia Macdonald Brewmaster Port Rexton Brewing (Newfoundland Beer)

With over a dozen operational craft breweries and growing, the Newfoundland beer boom seems to be well fueled. If you are a beer lover as well as an outdoors(wo)man, I could think of no better Canuck-inspired road trip for you than a brewery tour of this rugged province. A drive from Conerbrook on the west coast to St John’s on the east would take you past multiple stunning national parks, hiking trails and unique vistas along with the chance to visit upwards of six rurally located breweries.

A must visit would include Port Rexton Brewery, a four-year veteran owned by Alicia MacDonald (pictured) and Sonja Mills located within the postcard worthy Trinity area. Their avant-garde seasonal and one-off brews generate a ton of buzz amongst the St John’s beer lovers community for good reason.

On the other side of Trinity Bay is the now famous – thanks to its unofficial mayor Jimmy Kimmel – community of Dildo, which is home to the Dildo Brewing Company. This is a recent start up, but they are hitting their stride and they showcase both classic and experimental offerings. Owned by siblings Angie and Reid and their spouses Rob and Debbie, they won a grant to build the brewery in the old Society of United Fisherman’s museum and have lovingly restored the space. Added plus? Drinking a delicious beer in their second floor restaurant while gazing across the bay to Harnum Point and the 15 foot tall Hollywood-esq “Dildo” sign that Kimmel commissioned on the hillside.

No need to fret if you only have time for a weekend getaway to St John’s, as both breweries have bottle shops. Still, if you can make the three-hour drive out to visit the breweries, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Port Rexton Chasing Sun New England Style IPA

Visually slightly cloudy. Super fragrant nose; bright, tropical and citrusy. On the palate, the perfect combo of freshness and roundness. Finishes clean but with some weight, very well balanced. A year round, versatile brew.

Port Rexton Mango & Guava Sour

Perhaps not Newfoundland inspired, but oh so fitting as it is a collaboration with Adelaide Oyster House in St John’s. Everything I love in a fruited sour; vinous, tart, funky, fresh, and true to the fruit. Only 5% ABV, light and lively but not lacking flavour. Perfect for raw oysters.

Dildo Brewing Company Red Rocks Irish Ale

Coloured with local beets, it is as enjoyable to look at as to drink. The nose is malt forward, subtle, with a hint of sweet earthiness. No overt hop character on the nose, but some evident on the palate on the finish.

Dildo Brewing Company Stout Dildo

Sweetly charred coffee cake nose; aromas of chocolate but not the cheap Easter bunny shaped kind, the more respectable 70% Cacao Lindt bar you impulse buy to nibble in the car on the way home from the grocery store (am I alone in that?). Full flavoured and robust but classically lower ABV at 4.5%, creamy texture. Bonus points for the cheeky name.


Brie is a wine professional based in Ontario, and is often spotted with a corkscrew in hand on the restaurant floor. She has conquered the WSET Diploma and the CMS Advanced Sommelier exam, and has a love of sticking her nose in both glasses and books. Favorite food? You bet! Most of them, but especially cheese.

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